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Curtin University

Geographic Information Science (GIS) and Remote Sensing (RS)

GIS/RS Group

Geographic Information Systems manage spatial (location) data. Typically, layers of spatial data are combined in computer software that allows for complex spatial and temporal displays, queries and analysis. Each layer has closely related data, such as roads or rainfall or cities.

The study of GIScience researches the scientific principles that GISystems are based upon. These include considerations such as spatial and temporal data management, spatial analysis, and visualisation of spatial data.

The study of Remote Sensing (RS) relates to the collection of data - generally electromagnetic radation (EMR) - using instrumentation that is at a distance from the area or phenomena being investigated. Examples of RS technologies include satellite imagery and photogrammetry from aeroplanes or other vehicles.

RS can be classified by wavelength of the data collected:

  1. Visible and Reflective Infrared Remote Sensing.
  2. Thermal Infrared Remote Sensing.
  3. Microwave Remote Sensing.

Source: S Gopi, R Sathikumar, and N Madhu. 2007. Chapter 13 "Fundamentals of Remote Sensing" in Advanced Surveying: Total Station, GIS And Remote Sensing. ISBN 8131700674.